The changes were sought by 2nd and Charles, which worked with the city law office to get the revisions made, according to Commissioner Donnie Smith.
Under the proposal, book buyers and sellers would be subject to most regulations for other used goods dealers. Those requirements include requiring ID, videotaping and logging transactions and the seller’s home address and place of work, paying a regulatory fee and retaining items for a holding period.
The book dealers are exempt from taking the seller’s thumbprint and photo so long as they provide the sheriff’s office with gross receipts showing books are at least 60 percent of their annual sales as well as videotape all transactions, retaining them for 60 days.
“I hope they’re going to buy me the equipment to do this,” said David Hutchinson, owner of the downtown Book Tavern.
While Smith said 2nd and Charles sought the changes to avoid taking thumbprints, Hutchinson said he was unaware the ordinance addressed used book dealers. The merchant said he occasionally has books stolen from his store, but was unaware the sale of stolen books was a larger problem.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was closed Monday and calls to 2nd and Charles owner Books-a-Million weren’t answered.